For the first time in the 2021 NBA season, Boston Celtics fans saw Romeo Langford return to action as he took the court Sunday night against the Charlotte Hornets after missing the first 49 games of the season. Langford had been rehabbing from wrist surgery and then had to abide by the league’s health and safety protocols pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Langford, 21, may still be a young, raw, and unproven player in this league, but his return to play may turn out to be the team’s most crucial midseason acquisition post-trade deadline.
How Pivotal Is A Romeo Langford Return To The Celtics Lineup?
When the rest of the NBA realizes Romeo Langford is in fact real pic.twitter.com/3pdLXtzS33
— Dan Greenberg (@Stool_Greenie) April 4, 2021
Sunday Night’s Return
Celtics fans got to see Romeo Langford return to play Sunday night as he logged just 12 minutes of play, including some early action in the first quarter. He didn’t exactly fill up the stat sheet, as he scored three points while dishing out one assist and pulling down one rebound. However, it was clear that Langford was eager to get back out there, as no more than a few minutes into his first stint he rose up to challenge Miles Bridges at the rim and send back his throw down.
That is what a Romeo Langford return is going to bring to the table for the Boston Celtics. In a season unlike any other the NBA has seen, the Celtics seem to be lacking that spark of energy on the floor, and it translates to poor stretches of play that sees them sitting at 25-25 with about two months left of play. Despite just playing 33 career games in his first two seasons, fans cannot help but notice Langford’s energy that he brings to the table.
What Does Romeo Bring To The Table?
With the Romeo Langford return upon us, he is going to play a pivotal role in this team’s continued grind to the top of the Eastern Conference. He is not quite the scorer he was in high school and the collegiate level. This team has plenty of firepower on the offensive end with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown at the forefront, not to mention the progression we’ve seen from Kemba Walker and the new addition of Evan Fournier. What has been lacking more so than recent years has been the play on the defensive end. That is where Romeo is going to flourish and make a massive difference for this team.
Langford belongs to the class of young, athletic defenders that the Celtics have at their disposal, including players like Robert Williams and Payton Pritchard. What they lack in experience, they make up for in hustle plays and lockdown defense. If Sunday night’s Romeo Langford return showed us anything, it is that we can expect more hustle plays like this one from the former Indiana Hoosier.
— NBA (@NBA) April 4, 2021
On the offensive end, Langford is an athletic and crafty slasher capable of finishing above the rim on much larger defenders. He can also facilitate at a high level, adding another ball handler to the fold while the second unit is on the floor. The Celtics bench is getting a bit of a bolster in the second half of the season, with the Romeo Langford return and the newly acquired Evan Fournier being incorporated into the fold.
New Return, New Expectation
Since the All-Star break, the Boston Celtics have been operating at another level. They dug themselves a bit of a hole in the first half of the year, but since the break, the team seems to be turning the corner. In the last six games, the Celtics have won four games with an average separation margin over 17 points. While they dropped a few games along the way, the Celtics have not experienced a blowout loss quite like the ones they have been dishing out to other teams of late, especially Sunday night’s beatdown against the Hornets.
On Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Celtics will be as close to full health as they have ever been this year, with only Tristan Thompson out due to health and safety protocols. At full strength, the new-look Celtics have plenty of avenues to hurt opponents on both ends of the floor. Now that the Romeo Langford return to the lineup is official, fans should expect a fun, energetic second half of the season, as he could very well raise the level of play that the team operates at with his presence alone.